Real Estate Law
We make a difference for our real estate clients by closing deals with a common sense and creative approach. Our real estate group has been a core practice area since our firm’s inception, and today encompasses a wide variety of real estate related matters, including residential and commercial transactions, title insurance issuance across the state, commercial and residential leasing, and a multitude of other real estate matters. Regardless of the size or complexity of the transaction, we consistently provide prompt, high-quality, and cost-effective representation to get the deal closed. As a full service law-firm, we can also offer guidance as to corporate, estate planning, litigation, or land use matters that may arise in connection to our clients’ real estate transactions. Our team of attorneys is able to adapt to the ever-changing markets to continue making a difference for our clients.
Buying and selling real estate is often the largest transaction in our clients’ lives. We bring expertise, attention to detail, and peace of mind by serving as closing agent, escrow agent, and title agent for these transactions statewide. In addition to purchases and sales of single family homes and condominiums, our attorneys routinely close residential refinances, construction loans, and conveyances of vacant land. Our firm also prepares deeds to accomplish our clients’ estate planning goals, including placing property into trust or transfers among family members, and can advise homeowners on the benefits of Florida’s advantageous homestead laws. We give back through our pro-bono representation which has helped over three hundred families obtain affordable housing in connection with Manatee County Habitat for Humanity.
Our real estate team provides the particular knowledge and ability to manage complex projects, including multiple property portfolios. From contract negotiations up through closing, our attorneys counsel clients in all aspects of their real estate transactions, ensuring that any due diligence, title, and financing concerns are addressed in a timely and effective manner. We offer expertise in structuring complicated matters in order to minimize transaction-related costs and tax liabilities, including arranging 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, loan defeasances, loan assumptions, and public finance bonds. Our attorneys are especially knowledgeable in dealing with the purchase, sale, financing, and leasing of shopping centers, apartment buildings, commercial office projects, hotels, agricultural land, and mobile home parks.
Our firm is a qualified title insurance agent of several of the nation’s major title insurance underwriters, and is capable of issuing title insurance policies covering land located anywhere within the State of Florida. We work extensively in the complex commercial area, handling transactions and issuing title insurance for large development projects throughout the State. In addition, we also provide title services for both private and institutional lenders. The firm is a regular recipient of the Circle of Excellence and Outstanding Agent awards for the various title underwriters.
With our broad depth of real estate attorneys, we have provided commercial leasing representation to landlords and tenants across the country. Over the past several years we have helped clients lease over five million square feet of space. Our leasing attorneys work extensively with retail clients in existing shopping centers and shopping centers under development in negotiating leases, commercial lease terminations, subordination and non-disturbance agreements, short form leases, waivers and consents. Our Board-Certified healthcare attorneys also add value in the medical office leasing context as it relates to specific regulatory leasing laws and guidelines. Our leasing representation does not end there, as our attorneys have crafted Lease with Option to Purchase Agreements and Lease to Purchase Agreements to fit each client’s unique situation.
Reduced Sales Tax on Commercial Leases
by Matthew Staggs on January 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm
Effective January 1, 2020, the general Florida sales tax due on commercial leases will be reduced from the current 5.7% rate to 5.5%. This reduction in sales tax is applicable only to rental payments that are for a lease period that is on or after January 1, 2020. Therefore, the 5.7% sales tax will still
Florida Legislature Repairs Building Permit Defects
by Gregory DeMeuse on December 10, 2019 at 3:55 pm
Florida property owners, especially along the coast, are commonly a bit nervous as the height of hurricane season hits in late summer but then breathe a sigh of relief if unscathed as the season draws to a close in November. Longtime Floridians can recall more than one near miss, a narrow escape, or even the
Our real estate attorneys make a difference in many ways:
- Within the last year our representation has helped clients lease over one million square feet of empty space.
- Within the last year we have successfully orchestrated loan workout negotiations on behalf of lenders and borrowers for loans totaling in excess of $100M.
- We have successfully closed several complex commercial transactions, including transactions for Hope VI and HUD
- Developments which have helped to revitalize the local community.
- Through our pro-bono representation we have helped close over two hundred Manatee County Habitat for Humanity transactions enabling low cost housing for those in need.
- We have successfully assisted distressed homeowners in their loss mitigation plans, including the procurement and completion of loan modifications, short sales, and deed-in-lieu of foreclosures.
Blalock Walters is uniquely qualified to serve the education industry. Our attorneys have extensive experience in representing governmental entities, including school boards. Our firm has over 20 attorneys with experience in areas of law that would be regularly utilized by the by educational institutions including a wide variety of local government issues such as budgeting, contracts, zoning and development, labor and employment, all phases of litigation, student discipline, student activity, Civil Rights, sunshine law, ethics law, special permits, and public records. Attorneys have assisted in school boards in areas related to land use, real estate and contracts. Blalock Walters also has experienced attorneys who can assist with real estate, environmental, and taxation issues.
The agriculture industry is one that requires a very specialized knowledge in a number of different areas: Taxation, Labor & Employment, Environmental, Construction Litigation, Land Use, Real Estate, Family Succession Planning and Estate Planning, and Corporate Farming. Blalock Walters recognizes the specialized services needed for agribusiness, farm producers, and packers and growers. We have many years of agribusiness experience and offer sophisticated legal services that address the unique needs of the industry. Industry Resources:
- American Farm Bureau
- Florida Department of Agriculture
- Florida Farm Bureau
- Manatee County Farm Bureau
- The Gulf Citrus Growers Association
Our integrated law practice areas offer a complete range of legal services for the auto industry, including buying and selling auto dealerships, purchasing real estate and negotiating commercial leases, title insurance, estate and succession planning for family owned dealerships and litigation defense, including defense of lemon-law cases and employment lawsuits. The tax attorneys at Blalock Walters provide corporate formation and tax and business strategies for dealing with changes in the automobile industry to help maximize your company’s tax and financial advantages.
The complexities surrounding the residential and commercial construction industry require knowledge of construction contracts, construction liens, surety bonds, building codes, financing, insurance, construction defects, delays and disruptions, regulations such as OSHA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), wage and hours laws, permitting and land use. We provide legal services in resolving disputes concerning construction law including mediation, arbitration, and trial. Industry Resources:
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
- Florida Home Builders Association
- Florida Realtors®
- Homebuilders Association Manatee-Sarasota
- Manatee Association of Realtors
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration
- Sarasota Association of Realtors
The equine industry includes many different business interests with unique legal needs. Equine law involves the law as it relates to all aspects of horses and horse-related activities. Our team at Blalock Walters understands the unique and specialized needs of the equine industry and those passionate about their horses, and is prepared to offer the specialized services, including tax, business services, litigation, employment, immigration, land use, real estate, business succession planning, and estate planning. Generally speaking, our team at Blalock Walters is able to provide specialized services, addressing the unique equine needs of horse owners, businesses, professionals, associations and facilities with the following:
- Preparing, review, or negotiate equine-related contracts (such as purchase and sales agreements, leases, stallion service contracts, liability waivers/releases, facility use agreements, stallion management agreements, and boarding contracts)
- Establishing businesses, including corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, syndication, or limited liability companies
- Assist with tax planning and resolving tax disputes, including “hobby loss disputes” with the government
- Real estate purchases or transactions
- Handle or resolve zoning and land use disputes
- Litigation matters involving horse related matters
Blalock Walters understands the technical, corporate, and legal concerns related to technology industry related companies including licensing agreements, equipment leasing and purchase agreements, and hosting and internet service provider, as well as non-compete and other employment agreements. Our litigation group handles breach of contract, collections, and contract dispute issues relating to technology-related businesses. Our labor and employment group counsels with information technology companies as to day-to-day personnel practices and employee relations matters, employment agreements and labor relations. We make a difference by understanding our clients’ business goals and technologies. From a quick contract review to complex contract drafting and negotiation, we strive to ensure that contracts and agreements are structured with a good foundation avoiding future surprises or issues.
Non-profits and Foundations
Assisting private foundations and nonprofit organizations in our communities has been a focus of Blalock Walters from the beginning. As nonprofits have become more sophisticated and complex through the years, and subject to increasing regulation, our estate planning, corporate, tax law, real estate law and employment law groups have effectively provided guidance and counsel to help the nonprofit environment thrive. We provides specialized legal services in the charitable foundation and non-profit area, including:
- Formation of non-profit organizations and foundations;
- Tax exemption applications;
- Prohibited transaction analysis;
- Reasonable compensation analysis;
- Analysis and planning of corporate transactions involving tax-exempt organizations;
- Corporate governance matters;
- Real estate purchases, leasing and construction;
- Employment matters; and
- Dissolution and liquidation of nonprofits.
With many years involved in the sports industry in our communities, we offer a wide range of legal services to professional athletes and sports-related organizations. Blalock Walters works with Major League Baseball players and organizations, as well as other professional sports industries, in the areas of real estate law, land use, litigation, construction law, estate planning, tax, immigration, labor and employment, contracts, and business operations. Additionally, we assist retired baseball players with their businesses, foundations, and tax and estate planning needs that are unique to the profession. Our knowledge of the industry allows us to keep our clients informed of the significant tax and legal issues that often arise for professional athletes and ensure that we provide the highest quality of service.